Nearly 20% of all car crashes and 12% of near crashes are caused by fatigue or sleeping behind the wheel, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The accidents amount to 100,000 deaths or injuries each year.
Many of us have experienced drowsiness while driving. While automakers such as Mercedes-Benz have developed in-car systems that detect potential nodding off at the wheel, these systems are usually available only in luxury cars.
A new iPhone application should help bring a similar solution to masses. The Anti Sleep Pilot helps you calculate your fatigue levels and either helps keep you awake or recommends that you pull over to rest.
The program works through its own algorithms, with help from your phone’s GPS and accelerometer, to gauge any potential trouble.
To learn about your driving habits, the Anti Sleep Pilot will ask for you to complete a short test to determine your personal risks. While you’re driving, the program monitors your potential for fatigue, partially based off duration, your risk profile and driving data.
To keep you alert, the app will ask you to complete simple tasks, like pushing a button on your phone’s screen. When fatigue reaches critical levels, the program will audibly and visually signal that it’s time to pull over and take a break.
The app, which costs a hefty $20, works only with the iPhone 3G and 4 right now. A non-phone version is available for preorder — a small, hockey puck-shaped button that essentially performs the same task. It’s also a whopping $20. Even though we applaud the app for taking on drowsy driving, pricing it out of the range of widespread adoption might handicap it.